Category Archives: Technology

Fixing Plex on the QNAP NAS

I recently upgraded the firmware on my QNAP NAS from QTS 4.2.x to 4.3.x, and in doing so Plex stopped working. It was difficult to find information online to fix the problem, so I figured I’d write this short post on how to fix the issue.

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Cloudflare Argo Benchmark and Speed Test

Cloudflare Argo Benchmark

A few days ago, Cloudflare announced Argo, their new solution for a faster, more reliable, more secure Internet. My first thought was of course to perform an Argo benchmark to see how well it works.

I’ve previously taken a look at the Cloudflare Pro plan, and I’ve been paying for it ever since despite it not actually being of that much use to me.

Argo however appears to be exactly what I’m interested in, a new way of squeezing out yet more performance, so let’s find out how Cloudflare’s new Argo service performs with some benchmarks!

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Is Cloudflare’s Paid Pro Plan Worth It? Speed Test Results

Testing the Cloudflare paid pro plan

Cloudflare is a widely used content distribution network (CDN) which is freely available to help speed up your website by caching various contents at locations around the world.

While I have been taking advantage of the free plan on this website for a number of years I’ve often asked myself “is the Cloudflare Pro plan worth getting?”. At $20 USD per month it costs the same as the server itself. With limited resources available online, I decided to upgrade myself and find out if the pro plan made much of a practical difference to my website.

I’ve performed some basic benchmarks on a number of different file types at different file sizes on this website both on the free plan, and on the Pro plan after I upgraded in August 2016. We’ll take a look at the results and see if any of the Pro features helped speed up load times.

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Is an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) Worth It?

UPS

Recently in my area there have been some power outages and I have seen people complaining about not being able to use the computer or Internet during this time. When I advise investing in an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) they tend to have a few questions about whether or not purchasing a UPS to use in their home is worth it or not, let’s take a look.

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Gzip vs Bzip2 vs XZ Performance Comparison

Compression

Gzip, Bzip2 and XZ are all popular compression tools used in UNIX based operating systems, but which should you use? Here we are going to benchmark and compare them against each other to get an idea of the trade off between the level of compression and time taken to achieve it.

For further information on how to use gzip, bzip2 or xz see our guides below:

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How to Create a Website or Blog with WordPress

WordPress is a free web application that allows you to create a fantastic looking website or blog. There are thousands of additional themes and plugins allowing you to easily customize your website to get the unique look and functionality that you’re after. So how can setup your new website using WordPress? Let’s take a look.
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New Server Upgrade – A Scalable Solution

For some time now I have wanted to move this website over to a newer server in order to improve overall website load times around the world. First I’ll cover the old server, what I was looking for and how I decided on a provider.

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Reverse DNS explained

DNS is traditionally used to resolve a domain name to an IP address, this is known as forward resolution. Reverse DNS (rDNS) is the opposite of this whereby an IP address is resolved to a domain.

rDNS uses the arpa (address and routing parameter area) top level domain (TLD). The in-addr.arpa domain is used for IPv4 while ip6.arpa is used for IPv6 addresses.

This all sounds very backwards, let me explain…

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Setting QNAP NAS to shutdown on UPS battery power

Over the last week my area has received a lot of electrical storms, the most recent of which knocked out the power for a split second causing the UPS to fail over to battery power which saved me losing what I was working on. I’ve had this UPS for a few years now and it’s definitely been worth every dollar and then some, if you don’t already have one I suggest you look into investing in one.

Earlier this year I purchased a QNAP TS-870 8 bay NAS which is plugged into the CyberPower UPS as I don’t want to risk data corruption should the power go out. However when the UPS failed over to battery on the most recent instance, it made me consider what would happen if the power went out while I was not at home to safely shut things down. I run the NAS 24/7 so if the power went out for an extended period of time while I was out or asleep the NAS would almost certainly drain the battery of the UPS then shut off without correctly shutting down.

As the majority of my data is now stored on the NAS this would be an unacceptable option, so I have instead configured the NAS to safely shutdown when it detects that the UPS is using its battery.

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My upgrade to Windows 8 and a new SSD

Recently I decided to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8, and to coincide with this I went for a new SSD to use for the primary disk. I have been using an OCZ Vertex 2 for about 2 and a half years with no issues, however it was only 60gb which was a bit limiting, and a fair amount slower in comparison to SSD’s available today.

I bought a new Intel 520 Series 180gb SSD, opened up my PC case and swapped it with the OCZ Vertex 2.

ssd upgrade

Out with the old, in with the new.

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